Published On: Wed, Oct 12th, 2016

Hitler’s plot to kill the big three


History is littered with what ifs, like what if Hitler had never been defeated; but few know how close the world had come to such a disastrous scenario back in October 1943. But for loose lips & good luck, the Fuhrer would have managed to kill Roosevelt, Stalin, & Churchill, at the same time


Hitler's plan to hunt the Big Three

Operation Long Jump was conceived by the Germans after a 1943 meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt in Casablanca. German spies felt that if only the leaders met again, they could be eradicated; the icing on the cake would be getting Stalin, too, in one fell swoop

With the leaders of the three most powerful armies in the world assassinated, Hitler would have the world in his palms


Hitler's plan to hunt the Big Three

Their chance finally came when German intelligence learned that Roosevelt, Churchill, & Stalin would indeed be meeting up for a strategy conference somewhere in the Middle East in October 1943. After long negotiations, the heads of the Allied Forces had decided to meet up in Tehran; and through clever analysis & spying, the Germans caught on


Hitler's plan to hunt the Big Three

Otto Skorzeny, the man who had rescued the imprisoned Mussolini, was put in charge of the operation

The plan was simple: Hit teams would parachute into Iran & slip surreptitiously into Tehran, where they would stay at German safe houses; among the spies airdropped would be Soviet defectors wearing Red Army uniforms

The latter would slip into the security detail on the ground, providing intelligence & an opening for the German commandos to do the messy deed


Hitler's plan to hunt the Big Three

As the summit date approached, the plan began to unravel. First, German supplies airdropped into Iran would need to be transported into Tehran; German intelligence turned to their local agent, Ernst Merser, the delivery

Only trouble was that Merser was a double agent working for the British; clued into the assassination plot well in advance, Merser passed word to his British handler


Hitler's plan to hunt the Big Three

Another spot of luck for the Allied forces came in the form of loose lips; a member of Skorzeny’s assault team—thrilled to be part of the mission—told a certain woman that when he returned from his secret assignment he would “bring her a Persian rug”. The was the girlfriend of Nikolai Kuznetsov, a legendary double agent working for the Russians


Hitler's plan to hunt the Big Three

Lastly, the first German team that parachuted into Iran, comprising six radio operatives, were tracked down & arrested by a team of Soviet intelligence officers led by then 19-year-old Gevork Vartanian; thus Operation Long Jump failed to take off, & the main group to be led by Skorzeny never went to Tehran

The Tehran Conference went off without a hitch, & the outcome was the Western Allies’ commitment to open a second front against Nazi Germany


Hitler's plan to hunt the Big Three

But what if it had happened? The meeting was, in Churchill’s words, the “greatest concentration of power that the world had ever seen”. Neither the British nor the Soviets had a mechanism of succession in place. The result would have been chaos, especially for USSR, & a possible end of the doctrine requiring Germany’s “unconditional surrender”

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

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